Pops Fernandez and Anton San Diego recall their ‘vow’–and laugh | Lifestyle.INQ
Best friends forever: Pops Fernandez and Anton San Diego are all smiles and giggles with their birthday cake showing a couple as cake toppers.

Pops Fernandez and Anton San Diego recall their ‘vow’–and laugh

Best friends forever: Pops Fernandez and Anton San Diego are all smiles and giggles with their birthday cake showing a couple as cake toppers.
Best friends forever: Pops Fernandez and Anton San Diego are all smiles and giggles with their birthday cake showing a couple as cake toppers.
Michelle Tan and daughter Kathleen welcome guests at the foyer.
Michelle Tan and daughter Kathleen welcome guests at the foyer.

They had a pact in grade school: if by the time they turn 40, they’re still single, then they should just “get married.”

At last week’s dinner, show-biz celebrity Pops Fernandez and Tatler editor in chief and Inquirer columnist Anton San Diego got a robust laugh recalling a vow they made as best friends in grade school. (It’s not unique, however. Chances are, that’s done by every other kid who gets attached to his/her barkada. Let’s skip demographic—I had two staffers who made that vow to each other in their 30s. They didn’t honor it.)

Pops and Anton are past 40, and they’re nowhere near honoring that vow. Anton turned 50 last week. His and Pops’ birthdays are close. Two Mondays ago, they celebrated it at a cozy dinner hosted by Kevin and Michelle Tan in their home.

(The Saturday after that, Anton pulled the great performance of his life—“Saturday Night Fever” in his birth celebration at the new, exclusive Manila House. Yes, he can sing—and dance.)

The dinner was intimate, stylish in the Tans’ modern, minimalist home with a chic Asian touch. It’s a beautiful fusion of glass and light-colored wood—its tan tone making the ambiance airy and with young vibe.

The young couple decorated their home themselves. Kevin meticulously selected the materials, with Michelle giving her inputs on the door design, for instance. The couple decided that some of the artworks given by friends as their wedding gifts should be hung on the walls.

But the most charming down-home touch was their 2-year-old baby Kathleen who was greeting visitors, still up at 7:30 in the evening. One could tell that even at such a young age, Kathleen already has Kevin’s and Michelle’s people skills.

The dining table was elegantly candle-lit, with red roses in full bloom in a bed of green foliage.

At the dinner were Jojie Dingcong, Alice Eduardo, Small and Philip Laude, Derek Ramsey Sr. and wife Medy, Maurice Arcache, Mons Tantoco, Tim Yap, and Dr. Vicki Belo.

Candle-lit dinner
Candle-lit dinner

Margarita Fores prepared a sumptuous dinner—for appetizer, foie gras passato, chestnut and Bicol pili, homemade pear mostarda with thyme; fresh taglierini, Cagayan lobster, Negros cross crab; pan-seared Bohol white marlin, Irish lamb prosciutto zucchine; roast blackmore short rib; for dessert, majablanca moderna.

The evening’s highlight came when they brought out two birthday cakes for the honorees: one a strawberry jaw-dropper, the other—would you ever guess it—a cake with a caricature of a couple on top, Anton and Pops. Best friends forever. — THELMA S. SAN JUAN

Seated: Small Laude, Thelma San Juan, Alice Eduardo, Pops Fernandez, Michelle Tan, Dr. Vicki Belo. Standing: Philip Laude, Mons Tantoco, Derek Ramsey Sr., Maurice Arcache, Medy Ramsey, Anton San Diego, Kevin Tan, Jojie Dingcong, Tim Yap, Margarita Fores
Seated: Small Laude, Thelma San Juan, Alice Eduardo, Pops Fernandez, Michelle Tan, Dr. Vicki Belo. Standing: Philip Laude, Mons Tantoco, Derek Ramsey Sr., Maurice Arcache, Medy Ramsey, Anton San Diego, Kevin Tan, Jojie Dingcong, Tim Yap, Margarita Fores
Red roses in full bloom in a bed of green foliage serve as centerpieces.
Red roses in full bloom in a bed of green foliage serve as centerpieces.
Majablanca dessert prepared by Margarita Fores
Majablanca dessert prepared by Margarita Fores
Kevin Tan beside a Betsy Westendorp
Kevin Tan beside a Betsy Westendorp
Kevin Tan gives a light hearted birthday toast to the honorees.—PHOTOS BY THELMA S. SAN JUAN
Kevin Tan gives a light hearted birthday toast to the honorees.—PHOTOS BY THELMA S. SAN JUAN